The Siren Call Of Lady Luck

I’m a greater believer in luck, and I find the harder I work the more I have of it

 Thomas Jefferson

Whenever we get “lucky” it feels fantastic. I, personally, am grateful whenever some comes my way but it’s not something I count on having. Luck, in reality, is not as random and effortless as it seems. It actually takes a lot of hard work and effort.

While the concept of luck can be exciting, it can also be extremely damaging to us mentally and to our goals. Too often when times get tough, as they invariably do, the temptation is to bemoan the fact that you get no luck, and then give up. Or, you look at those who have achieved what you want, and write them off as just being lucky. As a result, your confidence takes a hit and you don’t even go after what you want. It is time that we all wake up and realise that luck is not something to hope for, but rather a consequence of preparation and persistent hard work.

Luck requires preparation. The only time you can get lucky without any effort at all, is by winning the lottery. In this case, you simply buy your ticket, and if your numbers come up, you win. It really is that simple. However, are you really prepared to put your life on hold in the hope that you might win lots of money, or would you rather work for it.? I know which I prefer, because I know that when you achieve something through hard work and persistent effort, you appreciate it more and the euphoria of achievement which you feel is like nothing else.

If you want to get “lucky”, here are a few key things to do;

  • Preparation. The first thing to do is to determine exactly what it is that you desire. Then, reflect on where you are right now. What are your strengths and weaknesses? What knowledge and skills do you need to achieve what you want?
  • Action. Now that you know what it is that you want, and what you need in order to achieve it, it’s time to get busy. Read, study, network or do whatever you need to do amass a level of knowledge and a skill set so strong that when you close your eyes, you can see, feel, touch and taste what you want to achieve. This visualisation is important, as it helps to make your goal feel real and within your reach. Once you’ve finished working on your skills and knowledge gaps and visualisation exercises, it’s time to take action in the direction of your goals.
  • Persistence. It’s important to understand that things will go wrong, mistakes will be made and that there will be setbacks on your journey towards your goals. The key here is to keep going. Don’t stop, or else it will be hard to get back up and start again. You have built positive momentum to this point, so you need to keep it going. The one thing which you need to do, when things go wrong is to take some time to reflect on the experience and determine what went wrong, why, and what you could do better next time when in a similar situation. Treat it as an opportunity to learn and grow.
  • Repeat. As you achieve your goals, it’s important to replace them with new, more challenging ones to keep you moving forward. Failure to do this could see you becoming comfortable and complacent, which is a big threat to your continued success.

In all honesty, this is nothing new. As you may have noticed, the formula I use to get “lucky” is the same I use to achieve my goals. It’s simply a matter of deciding what is important to you, planning and preparing effectively, and doing whatever it takes to achieve what it is that you want.

Good luck on your journeys!!

Luck is a matter of preparation meeting opportunity.

Stop feeling sorry for yourself, and take control

Yesterday, we looked at the dangers of blaming others for our misfortunes or lack of progress towards our goals. It is quite worrying that we are so quick to seek a scapegoat when we fall short of our goals or are dealt a bad hand in life, but reluctant to look at ourselves and how we might be responsible.

The truth is that, aside from your family and closest friends, nobody really cares whether you thrive or merely survive. This is because everyone is fighting their own battles and chasing their own goals. So, stop making excuses for your circumstances. Stop pointing the finger of blame at anybody else, unless you can be absolutely certain that there was nothing that you could’ve done to prevent the current situation in which you find yourself.

Your progress, development and ultimate success or failure depend on you, and you alone. Nobody will give you your true value, until you work for it and earn it. Take an employer, for example. Employers want value for their investment (your salary, training costs and bonuses) and will attempt to squeeze as much work out of you as possible. If you let them, they will have you working as many as 60 or 70 hours, including evenings and weekends. It’s up to you to protect your health and personal life. Most companies do offer benefits such as gym memberships at reduced rates, cycle to work schemes and the opportunity to work remotely, from home, but you have to go and get it if you want it. You will not be chased to take advantage of what is on offer. If you sit back and wait for an employer to come to you with offers of better pay and other perks, you will be waiting a very long time. Bear in mind that it is ultimately your responsibility when your health and relationships start to fail, not your employer’s, as you neglected both.

One of the big goals shared by an increasing number of people, is to achieve financial freedom. The popular misconception, though, is that in order to achieve this sacrifices must be made. So people sacrifice their health and happiness in the hope that all of the extra work will allow them to achieve financial freedom and independence. It goes well for a while, until they wake up one morning to realise that they have a healthy bank balance and nice things, but little else. The tendency is to blame their employer for this, but the reality is that this is merely the result of the choices which they made.

As with any other goal, if you want to achieve financial freedom you have to work for it. This does not mean giving up on your personal life in order to give everything for an employer. It means working on yourself, otherwise known as working smart.

Work is not limited to the 8 or 9 hours you give to your employer daily in return for your salary. I find it odd that so many people work all day long for somebody else, but do nothing to help themselves in the evenings and at weekends. It is as if they expect opportunities to simply fall from the sky into their lap. Unfortunately this is not the case.

How deeply do you want to become successful? If you really want it, you need to put the work in, as this is the only way to get peoples’ attention and raise awareness of what value you have to offer. It stands to reason that you can’t do this while at work, and on your employer’s time. So you need to be prepared to give up the box sets or nights out with friends.

Success is not an overnight process, and may take months of hustling in silence during those times when you’d rather be resting or enjoying some downtime, but this is the price that you have to pay if you really want it. After you have finished your day’s work for your employer, you have a duty to work on your personal development. Fail to do this, and you only have yourself to blame when you stagnate and stop making progress.


What is it that you want to BECOME?!

This is arguably one of the most important questions which you need to ask yourself, but it often gets overlooked. When we think about our personal development, we think about what we want to achieve, the value we might bring to the world in the form of a business, product or service and how we might be able to lead a more luxurious lifestyle.  The time has now come, though, to put your “wants” and desires to one side. The fame, cars, houses, holidays and clothes are not where your focus should be. Of course, they would make for some great posts on social media and attract a lot of attention but they are also just things or experiences. Material goods should not be prioritised over providing value and becoming somebody of substance. When you reflect on your current circumstances and set goals for yourself, reflect also on the kind of person you want to become.

Ask yourself what knowledge you would like to acquire. What skills or abilities do you want to improve? Reputation and personal brand are becoming increasingly important in business, so how would you like to be regarded personally and professionally? What kind of relationships and interactions do you want to have? When you leave a room, how would you like to be remembered?

Our thoughts, beliefs and perceptions of the world around us determine our actions and behaviour. These all impact the decisions we make and the quality of life which we lead. Which ultimately dictate the kind of person we become and what we achieve in life.

I’ld love to hear your thoughts on this, but for now will leave you with a few of my favourite quotes on this topic from Jim Rohn;

“Change starts from within”

“If you want to have more, you have to become more”

“Success is something you attract by the person you become”

“Don’t wish it were easier. Wish you were better, then go about becoming better”

Fulfill Your Potential

Compared to what we ought to be, we are only half awake. We are making use of only a small part of our physical and mental resources. Stating the thing broadly, the human individual thus lives far within his limits. He possesses power of various sorts which he habitually fails to use.”

William James


William James (January 11, 1842 – August 26, 1910) was a philosopher and psychologist, widely regarded as one of the founders of modern psychology in America. The above views were published in January 1907, and 110 years later his words still ring true.

I am sharing the above quote today, as it describes perfectly the driving force behind my blog. This is why I started sharing my thoughts and experiences on personal development, in the hope that it might help or inspire others to start or continue on their own journey. Plus, I love writing which certainly helps.

We all have the potential within us to achieve success, maybe even greatness. Potential, alone, is not enough though. For all too many people, this potential remains unrealised either through fear or complacency. Some fear failure, others fear the disapproval of others, while on the other hand, there are people who reach a point in life where they become comfortable with what they have achieved or complacent. There are also the lazy and entitled among us, who believe that good things will come to them without their having to make any effort. Truth is, potential alone is not enough. You have to want to better yourself. Really want it so bad that you challenge yourself to make small improvements daily, which will in time help you to grow and develop to the point where you become and achieve what you could only dream about before.

If you really challenge yourself to be the best you can, it’s possible to achieve the unthinkable. Be under no illusion, the journey itself is a minefield and requires a lot of planning, hard work and difficulty. What you could achieve, however, if you persevere is priceless. This is why I write; to share my experiences, knowledge and ideas in the hope that it might motivate, inspire or help others.

Blogs, programmes, books, podcasts and videos can only help so much, though. After all, as the saying goes, you can lead a horse to water but you can’t teach it how to drink. Potential, talent and knowledge will count for nothing if you don’t act upon it.

Will you fulfil your potential? I have no idea, only you can answer that. Depends on how much you want it and how hard you are prepared to work for it. So…will you?!

The world doesn’t owe you a thing.

All too often, we encounter people with a sense of entitlement and a chip on their shoulder. They feel that success is owed to them, and that they should have it all. When success, fame and fortune fail to fall in their lap they don’t make any effort to chase that which they want, but simply become angrier, more resentful and more bitter. Today, I am asking you, please, not to be that person.

Being confident and aware of your strengths and weaknesses is a good thing, but as with all good things it is important to practice moderation. In this instance, without moderation, the ego takes over. People then overestimate their worth and the value which they bring to the world, which in turn breeds entitlement. They feel that they deserve more than what they currently have and, eventually, the world will realise this and give it to them.

The truth is that you are not owed anything and you can’t have it all. We get that which we work for and earn, no more and no less. So, if you want more from life, whatever it may be, work for it. Some people are fortunate enough to have opportunities handed to them wrapped in a bow, but I prefer to work for what I have. If nothing else, the experience itself of striving for something is itself a valuable teacher. Furthermore, when I work hard for something, I find that I appreciate it an awful lot more.

With the power of the internet, we all have access to the same tools and information which will help us on our journey towards success and achievement. The potential to earn everything which we want is within us all, and the playing field is more level now than ever before. So, why doesn’t everyone have everything which their heart desires ?! Simply put, your desire has to be matched with a will to succeed and a determination to work as hard as it takes earn whatever it is that you want.


Profiting from your passion

Turn what you love into a successful business, and quit your 9-5 job!! This is the new dream which we are being sold. It’s everywhere we look from magazine articles to social media. Is it really possible, or just too good to be true? I am not about to try and find fault with this proposition, but rather urge caution. So yes, I do think it’s possible, but you need to be smart about it.

We read and hear of plenty of success stories in which people have turned a hobby or passion into a very successful and profitable business. They subsequently quit their jobs and are now wealthy entrepreneurs. On the other hand, there are plenty of people who gave up everything to pursue their dream only to be brought back to Earth with a vicious bump. Countless people are staking everything on their passion project and losing badly. This begs the question, as to why there are such extremes.

Having helped a number of people launch small business over the years, I would like to share a few pointers on what I have learned. I’ve said it before, the world needs more beauty and positivity, so we should create art and music, or launch businesses which will bring value to people and brighten their lives. However, too many people are rushing in to their new ventures blindly and leaving too much to chance, and it is this which. I would urge against

Your passion must be mixed with practicality. You must also be realistic about your expectations. Yes, you dream that you will take what you love and turn it into a very successful business. You can envision it. You can reach out and touch it. You can taste it and smell it BUT in order for it to go from dream to reality, there will be a lot of hard work involved. Your passion needs to be mixed with a strong work ethic, a well thought-out plan, a strategy of how you it will unfold, resilience and an incredible amount of hard work.

If you are serious about profiting from your passion and turning it into a viable business, there are a few things to bear in mind;

  • Research and Plan. You need a well-researched plan. Look at the market and who you might be competing with. Look at consumer trends and research the forecasts for the future within your chosen market or industry.  Use this information to plan wisely for the future.
  • Be financially savvy. Save enough money, or secure enough funding before you take your first step. It is a hard fact that many business run at a loss in their first year. This is because it takes time to establish yourself and build a customer base. Naturally, there are exceptions, but I would strongly recommend that you plan for this outcome. Plan for the best and work to make it happen, but have enough money in the bank to support yourself if it takes longer than expected for success to come. The last thing you want is to have to abandon your business and take a full-time job to pay the mortgage and bills. Worse still, you might keep your business only to be maintained by funding from an investor who pushes you to compromise your values. Give yourself a financial safety net, and remove one of the big pressures when starting a business.
  • Determine your strategy. You have a plan, a financial safety net and the drive to succeed. Next step? Work out how you will go about launching your business. Who is your audience? How will you grab their attention? What is your story? What value will you offer them? What is your marketing plan? How will you promote your business?
  • Hard work. You are now clear on what you want to do and how you will go about it. Now, just put the work in. Give it your full focus and attention and put in the relentless work. Take advantage of any networking opportunities and use social media to raise awareness of your brand. As you work, though, you must also reflect on your journey. Learn from the positives and negatives and use this knowledge to adapt and grow. This is a fluid process, and as you work towards making your business a success you need to keep learning and adapting. You need to have a plan and execute on it, but you also need to be able to respond quickly to any challenges or expand on what is working well.
  • Perseverance and resilience. There will be bumps in the road, challenges and rejections. This is unavoidable. The key is to keep going. When disaster strikes, reflect on it and see what you can learn from the experience. Learn from it and then get yourself back on track, stronger and more determined than before.

Having witnessed the struggles of people as they launched their new ventures, I would ask you to please reflect on the above so that you can avoid the same challenges. Research thoroughly, plan well, develop an effective strategy and go for it. Give it your full focus and attention, but don’t forget to take advantage of any learning opportunities on your journey and use them to adapt and grow. If the entrepreneurial route is the one for you, I wish you the very best and pray for your success.

The truth about luck

“It seems the harder I work, the more luck I have”

Thomas Jefferson

We are often being misinformed and told half-truths when we read about the success of others in journals, magazines or online. All too often, we are entertained with tales of overnight success and pure luck. In the same publications or websites, however, we also find motivational articles advising us how we can achieve whatever we focus our attention and effort upon. Confusing to say the least. Are we to wait for Lady Luck to shine brightly upon us, or do we get out there and work for what we want?

We must give credit where it’s due, though, and stories of luck do make for good reading. They are heartwarming and reassuring. We start to think that maybe we will get lucky too. I enjoy a good story as much as anyone else and love reading. However, I also live in the real world and am a strong believer in hard work and consistent effort. For me, there is no other way and it stands to reason. Imagine, for example, a man named John who dreams of becoming a successful musician. He sits around at home all day, binge-watching programmes on Netflix while waiting for inspiration to strike, after which he hopes to get lucky. What are his chances of success? Pretty small, right?! Now imagine John version 2, in which he is more proactive. John spends his day writing songs, practicing, performing in bars and clubs, putting some examples of his work on Youtube and networking online and in person. It goes without saying that Version 2, the version that works hard and doesn’t give up easily, will have the higher chance of becoming successful.

The truth is that when we work hard on our ourselves, our passions and our dreams, we stand a higher chance of finding ourselves in the right place at the right time, surrounded by the right people, after which we can achieve success in our chosen arena. There is no such thing as an overnight success or pure luck. The uncomfortable truth is that persistence and continuous hard work are the keys which will open the door to achievement and success. There is no shortcut. You need to work hard and be patient. Believe that, if you are doing everything you possibly can, the doors will open and your time will come.

“Even if you’re on the right track, you’ll just get run over if you just sit there”

Will Rogers


Stop and smell the roses

Stop and smell the roses. For anyone unfamiliar with this idiom, it means taking time out of your day to notice, appreciate and enjoy the beauty of life. It involves a shift in your focus from all things work or business-related to the small things that often go unnoticed, such as the sights and sounds of nature as you cut through the park on the way to the office. It means developing a childlike curiosity which can help you to view the world from a different perspective, through new eyes. Furthermore, it can help you to rediscover how much life has to offer, and how much you appreciate it.

While smelling the roses may appear to run counter to the “Carpe Diem” philosophy recommended overwhelmingly in business literature, it can actually compliment it. We live increasingly busy lives, and are constantly reminded to “seize the day” and take action if we want to lead a successful and fulfilled life. While this is excellent advice and we should take action in the direction of our goals, there must be some moderation. We are so used to hearing that we need to work harder, devoting more time and effort to outwork the competition, that we often feel guilty when we do try and unwind. How often do we find ourselves reaching for a laptop, Ipad or smartphone to check our emails for something we may have missed while trying to relax?! This “always on” culture, worn by some as a badge of honour, can lead to stress burnout, loss of focus and drive and also damage our personal relationships.

This is where slowing down comes in. Smelling the roses, and taking some time out for yourself, can help to reduce stress and make us more appreciative of what we have. It also brings a sense of calm and relaxation. This can help to recharge our batteries so that we return to our professional lives and goals re-energised, motivated and with a renewed focus.

There is no need to pick one approach or the other in this case as they work so well together. Naturally, taking action in the direction of our goals will lead to a more fulfilling life, but there needs to be moderation and time out to appreciate everything which we have already and which life has to offer. Life is not about rushing from one goal to the next, but the journey itself and the process which helps us to reach our goals and become successful. There are so many wonderful experiences and valuable lessons which we will encounter on our journey, and this is why we sometimes need to slow down and take that break to savour them. It would be shame to miss out because we are in too much of a hurry.


Can we please stop advising people to Give 110%?!

It’s everywhere, from sports coaching to books and articles on business, psychology and self-help. We are being bombarded with the advice that, if we want to achieve great things we need to give 110%. Which makes no sense.

This idea that you too can become a successful entrepreneur, sports star, actor or whatever else you want to be by giving 110, 120, or even 150% sounds simple, cool and catchy. Hence it is spreading like wildfire, but it’s time that we contain it and put it out.

Maybe I am just being pedantic, but we can only give 100% effort. That is our maximum, no more. Effort depends on so many factors that you might feel like you are giving your all today, but find that you can give a little more tomorrow. These factors can range from getting enough rest or food to the level of knowledge which you possess.

Let’s take running as an example. I might be able to manage 25 minutes at a steady pace on the treadmill today, but a week later find myself completing 45 minutes. In that time, I haven’t discovered a mystical energy reserve which allowed me to give 110%, but more likely the improvement came about as a result of my body adapting to the demands of my training and a possible improvement in my rest, recovery and nutrition.

The same can be said of progress made from one week to the next in business and other arenas. It is doubtful that your success is driven by 110% effort, but rather an increase in knowledge, understanding and experience.

If you are giving your all, that means that you are giving 100%. no more, no less. If you walk away from whatever you are engaged in and still have some energy left in the tank, then it is unlikely that you gave 100% in the first place, but rather around 80% which was the most you could give at that point in time. A good night’s rest, some further reading or adequate hydration and you might be able to return the next day and truly give 100% effort.

I believe that in order to be successful in your field of interest or expertise, there is a formula which could help;

1 – Identify what it is that you want to achieve, alongside the behaviours and skills which you want to develop.

2 – Set goals, both short and long-term, do your research and formulate a plan of action.

3 – Take action. Set up regular check-ins which will allow you to review your progress and identify any areas in which improvements can be made. Make tweaks as and when you feel appropriate.

4 – Be consistent. Keep putting in the work. Bounce back from setbacks, and as you reach each of your goals, tick them off and replace them with more challenging goals.

5 – Repeat.

Consistent, focused effort and hard work, mixed with passion and dedication is a formula which can drive you towards success, so please can we change the conversation and give more sensible advice?!


Goals are not just something you see in sports

Goals are not just something a football player might score, but a valuable tool to guide us on our journey towards success, self-discovery and achievement. Without goals, there is a danger that we might find ourselves just drifting through life lacking purpose, direction and focus while falling far short of our potential. The real benefit of having goals and striving to achieve them, however, is not in the goal itself but in what we learn along the way and how we develop and grow on this journey.

“People with goals succeed because they know where they are going. It’s as simple as that.”

Earl Nightingale

In short, goals give us the power to take control of the direction of our lives, force us to learn and grow and provide a tool to measure success and achievement.

There are 2 different types of goals, long-term and short-term and both are essential. Long-term goals are sometimes referred to as BHAGs (Big, Hairy and Audacious Goals) and should be challenging yet achievable. Your long-term goal is your overall vision of success. However, your long-term goal comes at the end of a journey of hard work, consistent effort, self-discovery and achievement. Along this journey, there are a number of sign-posts and checkpoints. These are your short-term goals. Short-term goals are the stepping stones which lead you towards your long-term goals, so it is essential that they are related to one another.

Before you start thinking about potential goals, define what success will look like to you. Carefully consider what it is that you want to achieve long-term and how you will do this through smaller short-term goals. Be honest and realistic about the resources available to you, and try to identify the behaviours and skills which you will need to develop in order to achieve your overarching goal.

A goal must be important to you, and be related to your priorities. There must be value in achieving your goals, as this helps to increase motivation and commitment, provide a sense of urgency and get you back on track after a setback. Essentially, you should be taking each short-term goal in turn and considering why it is important to you, what value it offers and how it will help you get closer to achieving your long-term goal.

“Your goals are the road maps that guide you and show you what is possible for your life.”

Les Brown

Business literature, journals and the internet are full of recommendations as to the many different ways in which goals can be set. One of the most popular and highly recommended is the process of setting SMART goals, and it is on this process which we will be focusing. An effective way to create short-term goals is by making them SMART (Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Relevant and Time-Bound).

Specific. There should be clarity in the definition of your goal. Goals are like signposts on the road to success, guiding you on a journey of self-discovery and achievement.

Measurable.  Be precise when determining how success will be measured (ie. generate ‘x’ amount of sales by ‘y’ date). With a way to measure your progress towards your goals, it becomes easier to identify and celebrate your successes while also identifying any areas for improvement.

Achievable.  As good as it may be to have a goal which stretches you and takes you out of your comfort zone, you must be realistic and honest with yourself about whether it can be done. Too challenging, and it could negatively affect your confidence and halt your progress.

Relevant.  There should be a clear link between your goals and the direction in which you want to steer your life. Your goals should be building blocks or signposts towards success

Time-Bound.  There must be a timeline in which you want to achieve your long-term goals, with deadlines for the short-term goals along the way. This helps to create a sense of urgency.

With your goals, both long and short-term set, the next step is to write them down. A goal becomes real when you put it before you in writing. I choose to write mine in a series of positive statements starting with “I will…” and ending with a deadline “by….”

Accountability can also be helpful and provide extra motivation. This is not for everyone, but your goals can be shared with trusted friends or family. Some people find that this is another helpful way to create a sense of urgency and keep you on track. Others, however, prefer their privacy and would rather work in silence.

Simply stating that you want something to happen is wishful thinking or dreaming. For it to become a reality, you need a clear understanding of what you want to achieve and why. Then comes the goal-setting process, before planning and taking action, celebrating victories and reflecting on what you’ve learned along the way.

Who doesn’t love a list?!

Lists are everywhere and form an integral part of our daily lives, whether they be shopping lists, to-do lists, done lists, short term goals, long term goals, bucket lists or favourite quotes among many others. Personally, I love them and the done list is one of my favourites, as it forms a reminder of everything which I have accomplished during that day, week or month. Lists can also be helpful, saving memory space in our overloaded brains as well as valuable time. A shopping list is a good example of this; you identify what you need, write it down, put that list in your pocket and off you go. These are, however, not the type of list which we will be looking at today.

There is a type of list upon which we are becoming overly reliant. This is, in my humble opinion, to our detriment. What type of list am I thinking of as I write this? The list of what successful people do, read, eat…

Don’t get me wrong, they can be very interesting and motivational, but that’s about it. The problem with these success lists, is that the evidence of success and achievement is deeply personal and specific to that individual. I can adopt all of Cristiano Ronaldo’s behaviours, training routine and eating habits but that won’t give me the same results and turn me into a star footballer.  There is also the matter of context; what works in professional sports will not always be transferrable to another domain, such as business. Another question is raised over the validity of the evidence. These lists are often based on generalisations and similarities, pointing at particular behaviours or traits that a groups of successful people share. There is often a lack of scientific support for these findings, which tend to be anecdotal. As mentioned before, they can also be rather specific to a particular context and bear little relevance to the situation in which you find yourself. Then we have the small matter of change. Times change. The world evolves and changes. Technology advances and changes at a rapid rate. These particular lists, however, do not always account for this. A quick google search on Steve Jobs or Mark Zuckerberg  will bring up plenty of lists, many of which deal with their rise to eminence. What they do not take into account, though, are their circumstances and the climate in which they released their groundbreaking products. It is simply not possible to follow a list and launch another Apple or Facebook today, in the same way that Jobs or Zuckerberg did all those years ago.

The problem is that these success lists are comforting. In an age where everything is fast, from our food to our information, it’s encouraging to be offered a shortcut to success. The truth, though, is that there is no shortcut. If you want to be successful, you need to take action but be prepared to fail and then learn from your experiences. There are no substitutes for hard work and effort. Rather than focusing on what successful people do, focus on your strengths and abilities and stop trying to be someone else. As Oscar Wilde once said “Be yourself; everyone else is already taken,”

Thank you, as always for reading. If you agree, or disagree, with the above please feel free to leave a comment

Lights, Camera…ACTION!!

Having reflected on your current situation, and come to the realisation that change is necessary in order to grow, it is important to set appropriate goals. If possible, also identify the skills and behaviours which you will need to improve or develop.

From there; research. Whether reading, watching or listening to blogs, vlogs, books, audiobooks, podcasts or whichever medium you prefer, researching and gathering information is the logical next step. All the best plans and research, however, will come to nothing, unless you act upon them.

Knowledge is, of course, important, but it can only lead to meaningful change and progress if you act upon it.

Knowing is not enough, we must apply. Willing is not enough, we must do”

 –  Johann Wolfgang Von Goethe

A simplified way to look at the process above could be something like this;

  • Determine which areas you would like to make changes in
  • Set your goals and identify the steps which will take you closer to them. This includes identifying and working on the key behaviours and skills which will help you on your journey.
  • Do the preparatory work; read, research, plan and gather resources which you feel you may need.
  • Take action
  • Document your journey, paying attention not only to successes but also the lessons learned along the way. This is essential as it offers a blueprint as to how to maintain your momentum or recover after a setback.

There is no such thing as the perfect plan, or the perfect time to act upon it, so don’t waste time hunting for it or waiting for inspiration to strike. Just act on the plan which you have. This can lead to gaining momentum, courage, experience, confidence and motivation. It is far easier to get started and keep going if you take baby steps. Experience is key, as it is an excellent teacher. If things don’t turn out as you would have liked, learn from the experience and try again.

Furthermore, y taking action, you embark on a voyage of discovery. What works for me is to break my goals down into small actions or steps and work on one or two each day.

Failure, or more precisely the fear of failure, is what stops a lot of great people in their tracks. It is, whether you like it or not, an inevitable by-product of taking action. Not everything will work out the way you envisaged. Don’t let this deter you from taking action towards your goals, though. When failure comes, embrace it like you would an old friend. Treat it as a learning experience. Reflect on it and see what you can learn from it in order to move forward wiser and better informed.

“The possibilities are endless once we decide to act and not react”

 – George Bernard Shaw

As always, thank you for reading. Please feel free to leave a comment or share. The next few posts will be looking at the dangers of lists and looking for shortcuts, and also embracing failure

Visualisation and the Law of Attraction

Now that we have touched on the brain and how we learn, it’s time to look closer at the mind and what it is capable of. When exploring the power and potential of the mind, it is inevitable that the Law of Attraction will be encountered, alongside the power and benefits of visualisation. Well, what are they?

The Law of Attraction is a universal law which states that everyone has the ability and potential to attract things into their life through their thoughts, intentions and actions. In short, you attract whatever is on your mind. You will hear this expressed in many different ways, among them;

  • As you think, so shall you become
  • You attract what you feel, fear and think about
  • What consumes your mind, controls your life

Essentially, you have the potential to become or attract whatever you focus on. As the second point above hints at, however, the mind has the potential to attract negativity as well as positivity.

Visualisation is a similar concept, in that you first decide what you want to become or have, then focus on how you are going to achieve it before picturing it clearly in your mind. This vision will then become a reality. In other words, if you can see it in your mind, you can hold it in your hand.

Does that not sound a little to easy or simplistic? Yet that is what endless self-help articles, books and programmes will tell us, and we love to hear it because we live in a time where hard work is shunned in favour of quick fixes. And hard work is definitely needed in order for visualisation or the Law of Attraction to actually produce positive results.

As we have seen, the Law of Attraction and Visualisation both work in a very similar way; you decide what you want, focus your mind on how it can be achieved or obtained and it will happen in due course.  There are 2 essential elements to their success, however which have been overlooked.

The first oversight is a person’s mental attitude. If you have the power to attract whatever you focus your mind on, then it stands to reason that there exists the potential to attract negativity into your life if your mind is filled with fears and insecurities. Therefore, optimism or a positive mental attitude is essential. After all, a negative mind cannot attract positive results. How does this work? Well, a positive mind leads to positive thoughts and positive behaviours which have the potential to attract positive results. Likewise, a negative mind affects our thoughts and behaviour negatively and can potentially lead to undesirable results. So, before anything can be visualised it is important to confront any fears and insecurities which could potentially derail the process.

The second oversight? Work. Yep, the dreaded W. As with anything else, having a positive mental attitude and visualising success is just the first step. You have to put the hard work in. It’s not enough to just believe and live as though you have already achieved your goal, but you also need to ACT. This is the final step and where a lot of people fall short. You do the initial work which leads to a more optimistic and positive outlook. From there, you decide what it is that you want and how you can get it. At this point, that which you are focusing on is merely a dream. It is only when you start to take action that your dream becomes a goal which can be achieved. Until then, it is merely wishful thinking.

In short, optimism plus a clear idea of what you want to achieve and the hard work needed to make happen is the recipe for success.

Thank you for reading. As always, please feel free to leave a comment or share your thoughts and experiences


In my first post, I would like to take a look at the Mindset,  and what it is, inspired by the excellent book Mindset: How You Can Fulfil Your Potential by Carol Dweck.

Mindset is defined in the dictionary as the established set of attitudes held by someone. In the aforementioned book, the author describes how a person’s mindset can either be defined as a fixed mindset or a growth mindset,

In order to highlight the differences between the different mindsets, let us look at how they impact on an individual’s understanding of, and attitude towards, SKILLS, CHALLENGE, & EFFORT. Taking each attribute in turn, we will see how an individual behaves when in possession of a fixed or a growth mindset.


In a fixed mindset, there exists the belief that skills are inherent, that is to say something that you are born with and is fixed. You cannot change it or do anything about it. This simply isn’t the case, as research has shown that skills can be learned and perfected through many hours of purposeful practice (10,000 hours to be precise).

In a growth mindset, however, there is recognition that skills can be learned or developed through hard work and that there is always room for improvement through purposeful practice. Improvement, therefore, is dictated by a person’s will, determination and use of the resources available to them.


In a fixed mindset, challenges are often viewed with caution due to the risk involved. Of course, if a challenge is met with successfully, this highlights a person’s skills and abilities. However, not all challenges are completed successfully and it is the fear of failure which holds back those in possession of a fixed mindset. In a fixed mindset, failure is viewed as final, fatal and a reflection of a person’s lack of skill or ability.

In a growth mindset, challenges are embraced, and regarded as an opportunity to grow and learn. Therefore, people with a growth mindset are more likely to seek challenges, despite the possibility of failure.


Fixed mindset holders can have the view that effort is unnecessary, as they are already naturally talented .However, with a growth mindset, effort is regarded as an essential step on the path to self-mastery and achievement.

Possessed of a growth mindset, people believe that everything can be achieved through hard work and that there is always room for improvement.

With regards to people being born naturally talented, this is simply not the case. Every successful person has at one time or another failed, some having done so many times. What separates them from the rest is their perseverance, because through refusing to give up, embracing challenges, using their skills and putting in the required effort, they learned, grew and became successful.